On the road to financial freedom, there will be a lot of obstacles along the way. An array of dangers await to part you from your ever growing horde of money. A really innocent, but absolutely annoying obstacle is the dreaded “Weekly Office Lottery Ticket”. You know what I’m talking about: everyone at the office pitching in a buck or two every week to dream about escaping the mundanely boring life that is the cubicle. But don’t fall for it! It’s a trap! Uh oh, here comes a rant…
Every week at work, many of my fellow co-workers pitch in a few bucks for a group lottery ticket. I’ve
politely refused to participate so many times that they don’t bother asking me anymore. Yes, I am the Debbie Downer of the weekly lottery pool at my work. But it’s not because I am a smartass or anti-social. It’s just that I’m not numerically challenged.
Why is the lottery an insanely dumb money decision? Let me ask you this: would you ever walk into a casino and play roulette on a regular, weekly basis? Hell NO! Why? Because you know the odds are tilted heavily towards the house and you would be a sucker to play a game with such dismal odds on a regular, frequent basis. Yet, people love playing the lottery. Make sense of that.
The Kapitalust Theory on Numerical Idiocy rests with the idea that because the odds in lotteries are so absurdly-astronomically against the player, the human brain is completely incapable of understanding just how outrageous the odds truly are. If you wouldn’t play a game regularly that gave you a 1 in 37 chance of winning, why in the bloody hell would you play a game that gives you a
generous 1 in 14 MILLION chance of winning?
The lottery that my work plays every week is the 6/49. It’s one of two big lotteries nationwide here in Canada. The precise odds of winning the jackpot is 1 in 13,983,816. It costs $3 to buy one ticket with one set of numbers. With these odds and prices in mind, let’s keep it simple and play a little mind game.
Let’s say we play a game once a week from the age of 20 to the age of 100. That is 52 weeks times 80 years for a total of 4160 games. We would have spent – not factoring inflation – $12,480 and would have not increased our odds in the slightest. We essentially wasted 80 years playing the lottery and wasted $12,480.
Now, that’s not very inspiring. So, let’s get creative and say we could play the lottery for 2000 years. Let’s go back to the time of the Roman Empire at year 0 AD. Again, we will play the lottery every week for 2000 years. That is 52 weeks times 2000 years for a total of 104,000 games. We would have spent (not factoring inflation) $312,000 and, again, we did not improve our odds significantly. We essentially wasted 2000 years playing the lottery and wasted $312,000.
Wow, if 2000 years isn’t enough time to statistically win, how many years do we have to play for there to be a statistically likely chance of winning? Remember the official odds? 1 in 13,983,816. Statistically speaking, you need to play 13,983,816 times to have a statistically fair shot at winning. To play that many times, you would need to play once a week for 268,919 years.
Anatomically modern humans only started appearing around 200,000 years ago. You would have had to have played when the first modern Homo Sapiens started appearing back, back, back in the day to have a statistically likely chance of winning the lottery. How absurd does that sound?
You will never achieve financial freedom by swinging for the fences against such astronomical odds. Only losers play the lottery. And I don’t mean to be rude by calling these folks losers because it is an apt description of someone who places themselves in financially precarious situations where they have no chance of climbing the ladder towards financial independence.
It really is kind of sad that so many people in our society play the lottery without really comprehending how absurd it is. No wonder they call it a tax on stupidity. You should always avoid placing yourself in situations where the odds are stacked against you. Especially if financial independence is important to you. Why would you ever, ever want to play the lottery?